The modern Woodwind family consists of recorders, flutes, oboes, clarinets, bassoons and saxophones. No matter your experience or your age, or your choice of woodwind instrument, we have sheet music, scores and tuition books for all, in a wide range of genres and styles.
Woodwind instruments began to evolve thousands of years ago. The first flutes were believed to have been up to 50,000 years old, and through the ages, old flute-like instruments have been discovered that were carved from various different woods, and even bones from birds or bears!
Through the medieval, renaissance and baroque periods, the most common woodwind instruments, recorder, flute, oboe and bassoon, developed, and the clarinet joined them from the middle of the 18th century. The first woodwind instruments had no reeds, the flutes and recorders. With the dawn of the double-reed, oboes and bassoons developed, and the clarinet was the first single reed instrument to join the family.
In the 19th century, the first saxophones started to appear, which despite being made of brass, were counted among the woodwind instruments, because they are all single reed instruments, employing a very similar finger and key system to the clarinet.
Although the saxophone is a relatively minor instrument within the classical symphony orchestra, it did however, help the woodwind family to take a prominent role in various modern musical styles, including jazz, soul, pop and rock music.